Our visit to Lullingstone Country Park attracted 17 Group members, keen to enjoy the slightly cooler weather & the varied wildlife of woodland, grassland & river, all found here at Lullingstone. We began our walk by following the River Darenth and saw, as we had hoped, a grey wagtail feeding at the water’s edge. This bird can be found along fast flowing streams but is rarely seen elsewhere. It breeds on the Darenth and earlier in the year adults and young were seen a little further upstream at the Lavender Farm.
Banded Demoiselles were still on the river, flying around the long leaves of Yellow Flag plants. A few Common Blue Damselflies could be seen on bank vegetation. At Lullingstone Castle two kingfishers and a grey heron were seen on the lake while house martins swooped over the gatehouse. They will be migrating south soon along with swallows and many other small migrant birds such as warblers and flycatchers. Most swifts have already gone. A distant bird of prey, large & white-rumped, intrigued us as it was mobbed by smaller birds and two common buzzards. Photographs showed that it was a Harris Hawk – almost certainly an escapee from Eagle Heights! However, small birds were very quiet but a chiffchaff was seen and it managed a few feeble bars of ‘Chiff Chaff’
Spring & Summer wildlife ‘action’ has finished now but this didn’t stop us enjoying a day out in a green space where the plants and animals may not be special, but they are cared for & protected. Lullingstone Country Park is one of the 70 woodlands chosen to be dedicated to Her Majesty on behalf of the Platinum Jubilee.
Thanks to Chris, Steve and Sally (me) for the photographs.
Thanks to everyone that supported our Tuesday morning walks this year. Our afternoon talks programme starts on Tuesday 27th September 2pm Masonic Halls. “Quest for Waders”
Don’t forget to get your Coach Trip tickets. Saturday October 1st. Pulborough Brooks RSPB reserve. See website for more information. Sally